Not The AdWords That You Used To Know


In the Smart Insights article, Google AdWords changes in 2013 – reviewing the opportunities and potential problems, Tara West outlines the changes with Google AdWords that you need to be aware of and how you can make the most of the opportunities that go with them.

These changes are:

  • Device Targeting and Bid Adjustments
  • Flexible Bid Strategies
  • New and Enhanced ad Extensions
  • Low Search Demand keywords are not eligible
  • Competitive data
  • AdWords Display Advertising changes

Device Targeting and Bid Adjustments

The most controversial change from Enhanced Campaigns has delivered is the shake up with device targeting. In previous times, best practice has always been to target mobiles and tablets in separate campaigns (away from desktop campaigns) because they perform differently. This also allowed the advertiser control over the split in spend between tablet, mobile and desktop.

The AdWords interface has now changed so dramatically that you can no longer target tablets separately because Google believe they perform in the same way as desktop devices (in my experience they don’t, but who am I to argue with the big G).

All devices are now targeted within one campaign, and bid adjustments are used to increase or decrease bids for mobiles. There is no way to increase or decrease bids for tablets, which is a real shame.

You can choose not to target mobile devices by making your mobile bid adjustment -100%.

Bid adjustments aren’t all bad news – there are some other handy bid adjustment features for location and times of day.

Bid adjustment feature by location and time of day

If you have a local business with physical locations, you can increase your bids for users who are within a certain radius or location close to your business. For example if you were an Estate Agent with offices in Winchester, Southampton and Basingstoke, you could set your campaign to target the whole of Hampshire but increase bids by 5% for users in Winchester, Basingstoke and Southampton because you believe they are more likely to convert.

The functionality for bid adjustments based on times of day has always been available in AdWords but now it’s more prominent in the settings section of the interface.

Explore your campaign performance by times of day using the Dimensions tab, and then increase or decrease bids as required.

For example if you are a cafe, you may want to increase your bids from 12pm to 2pm because this is when people are most likely to search for your business and actually visit your venue. Likewise, if you are an e-commerce site, you might see in the Dimensions tab data that your site performs well throughout the day but most conversions happen after 5pm. You could then increase your bids between 5pm and 9pm because you know clicks during this time are most likely to convert and you want increased visibility higher up the page.

All bid adjustment functionalities can be found within the settings tab and then green sub-tabs within it.

It’s important to remember that all bid adjustments stack on top of each other. For example if your standard bid was £1 and then you bid up 10% for people who are in Winchester, and then also bid up 10% for users between 12pm and 3pm, your new bid would be £1.21.

Flexible Bid Strategies

This is a completely new feature in AdWords where you can choose a bidding strategy and Google will automatically optimise your bids based on achieving this strategy.
It sounds too good to be true, and that’s because it might be.

Nothing can beat a bidding strategy managed by a human (or even a human using a 3rd party tool), but sometimes you just don’t have the time or the knowledge to constantly tweak bids.

This is when Automatic Bidding Strategies might help you:

Tell Google to optimise your bids to achieve a set Cost per Acquisition, Cost per Click, maximum number of clicks, or simply for a certain position in the paid search results.
AdWords does this by using all the time, location and device data in your account and changing your bids accordingly.

The bid strategy for Cost per Acquisition is helpful if you are targeting mobiles on Enhanced Campaigns and used to use Conversion Optimiser, as Conversion Optimiser does not function alongside mobile targeting with Enhanced Campaigns.

Read the rest of Tara’s article here.